Beyond the glitz and glamor of its yearly bash, PIA's credentials are solid gold: more than 38,000 disadvantaged children in the Philippines sent to school since the charity was founded 28 years ago by Mona Lisa Yuchengco (who is also publisher of Positively Filipino); over $3.1 million in grants and scholarships disbursed; more than 25 non-governmental organizations partnered; and thousands of volunteers and donors/sponsors not only from the Filipino American community but from corporations, non-profits and non-Filipino friends who share PIA's commitment to help underprivileged and disabled Filipino children get an education.
And all it takes to support a child is 40 cents a day or $150 a year! Sponsors get letters from their children and copies of their report cards, so they can monitor their progress and establish personal relationship if they want to.
For more information on PIA, please check out its web site at www.phil-aid.org.
The highlight of this year's fundraiser was the fashion show featuring the creations of Criselda Lontok. Found usually at Rustan's department store in Manila, Lontok's clothes delight real, mature women because of their "forgiving" lines, their vibrant colors and their easy elegance.
Here are some of our favorites, as captioned by couturier Anthony Legarda:
And to get a better idea of the good work that PIA does, here's a short documentary produced and directed by Mona Lisa Yuchengco, and written and narrated by retired TV journalist, Lloyd LaCuesta: